• Biblical Studies

    "Will You Lay Down Your Life?"

    Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said to the Lord, “I will lay down my life for Your sake,” and he meant it (John 13:37). He had a magnificent sense of the heroic. For us to be incapable of making this same statement Peter made would be a bad thing— our sense of duty is only fully realized through our sense of heroism. Has the Lord ever asked you, “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” (John 13:38). It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. We are not made for the bright-shining moments of life, but we have to walk in the light of them in our everyday ways.

    The Beauty of Rome

    The glory of the Roman Empire offered an expansive backdrop for the birth of Jesus. In 27 bc Rome’s first emperor, Caesar Augustus, ended 200 years of civil war and began to replace rundown neighborhoods with monuments, temples, arenas, and government complexes. According to Roman historian Pliny the Elder, they were “the most beautiful buildings […]

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    Christian Beliefs

    Drawing on the Grace of God— Now

    We . . . plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain —2 Corinthians 6:1

    The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it …

    Receiving Yourself in the Fires of Sorrow

    As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself, accepting His position and realizing His purpose, in the midst of the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

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    Christian Living

    Forgiveness for those who hurt us the most

    Is there a family hurt you can’t seem to get past? A word, an action, or a mistake that makes forgiveness seem impossible? Today on Discover the Word, we will discuss how to offer God’s forgiveness to those who’ve hurt us the most. We’re finding “The Beauty of Broken” today  on Discover the Word!

    Genuine Love

    I doubt that any word gets tossed around in our world with such frequency and flippancy as love. It’s common for us to justify selfish behavior or whitewash actions harmful to others all in the name of some weak notion of “love.” Too often our actions performed under the guise of love have nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of it.

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    Christian Ministry & the Church

    Have You Come to "When" Yet?

    A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is actually a sign that I am rebelling against the atonement by the Cross of Christ. I pray, “Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer— I will walk rightly before You if You will help me.” But I cannot make myself right with God; I cannot make my life perfect. I can only be right with God if I accept the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift.

    Hoo-ah!

    The U.S. Army’s expression “hoo-ah” is a guttural response barked when troops voice approval. Its original meaning is lost to history, but some say it is derived from an old acronym HUA—Heard, Understood, and Acknowledged. I first heard the word in basic training.

                Many years later it found its way into my vocabulary again when I began to meet on Wednesday mornings with a group of men to study the Scriptures. One morning one of the men—a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division—was reading one of the psalms and came to the notation selah that occurs throughout the psalms. Instead…

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    Christianity & Culture

    Our prayers are powerful

    Do you sometimes feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and stop there? Or do you think because God is sovereign and will do what He wants, there’s no point in even trying to pray? Today on “Discover the Word,” the group explores why our prayers are powerful, even though exactly how that works remains a mystery. Join us today on” Discover the Word”!

    “Our sufficiency is from God”

    On July 4, the U.S. will celebrate Independence Day. But today on “Discover the Word,” the group will talk about how, as individual believers in Christ, we can celebrate Dependence Day. And that’s every day when we sincerely say, “Our sufficiency is from God.” Today on “Discover the Word,” we will discuss the essence of prayer, complete dependence on God. Tune in today to “Discover the Word”!

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    Ethical Issues

    Straight Up

    Carefully lifting each piece of paper, I sorted the stacks on my desk—again. I searched through file drawers, bookcases, computer folders, and email messages while praying fervently that the missing item would be found. Disappointed and frustrated, I took a deep breath and informed my supervisor before emailing the originator of the document for another copy. My prayers were answered in an unexpected fashion when I received a message in reply letting me know that the item hadn’t yet been sent to me!

    He Saw Something

    It was with gut-wrenching horror that I watched the video of 21 Coptic Christians being forced to kneel on a Libyan beach before being beheaded by terrorists. Later, I learned that a relative of some of the men who were killed said that many of them cried out the name of Jesus with their dying breath—a testimony to their faith in Him. Though the terrorists had hoped for the opposite effect, they had actually strengthened the faith of the Coptic Church by proving that even imminent death couldn’t snatch away their brothers’ love for Christ!

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    Evangelism & Missions

    Genuine Love

    I doubt that any word gets tossed around in our world with such frequency and flippancy as love. It’s common for us to justify selfish behavior or whitewash actions harmful to others all in the name of some weak notion of “love.” Too often our actions performed under the guise of love have nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of it.

    Serving Christ

    “I’m a secretary,” a friend told me. “When I tell people this, they sometimes look at me with a certain pity. But when they find out who I am secretary for, they open their eyes with admiration!” In other words, society often defines some jobs as less important than others, unless those jobs happen to relate in some way to rich or famous people.

             For the child of God, however, any occupation, regardless of the earthly boss, can be held proudly because we serve the Lord Jesus.

    In Ephesians 6, Paul talks to servants and masters. He reminds both groups that…

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    Life Struggles

    Stay or Run Away?

    Waiting in a long line to ride a roller coaster, I considered turning back several times. When it was finally my turn to board, the safety bar in the seat I was to occupy wouldn’t release properly. I was afraid of getting stuck, but I hopped in anyway. When the safety bar came down too tightly on my lap, I felt trapped and scared! I considered waving my hand and asking to be excused from the ride. But an attendant announced over the loudspeaker, “You can scream and you can shout, but there’s no way we’ll let you out.”

    Jealousy and Generosity

    Thomas J. DeLong, a professor at Harvard Business School, has noted a disturbing trend among his students and colleagues—a comparison obsession. He writes: “Business executives, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, doctors and other professionals are obsessed with comparing their own achievements against those of others. . . . I have interviewed hundreds of HNAPs (high-need-for-achievement-professionals) about this phenomenon and discovered that comparing has reached almost epidemic proportions. This is bad for individuals and bad for companies [and it leads to diminished satisfaction].” It’s also especially bad for believers in Jesus.

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    Marriage & Family

    God loves your child

    When our son wanders off course or our daughter makes poor decisions, we may wonder if they have completely missed God’s plan for their life. Today on Discover the Word, we will offer hope and encouragement for worried moms and dads. A hope-filled reminder about how much God loves your child . . . today […]

    Healing found in surrender

    How do we respond when a loved one doesn’t live up to our expectations? Today on Discover the Word, the group shares personal experiences with letting go and allowing Jesus to touch their family members’ hearts. Discover the healing found in surrender with the Discover the Word!

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    Relationships

    Forgiveness for those who hurt us the most

    Is there a family hurt you can’t seem to get past? A word, an action, or a mistake that makes forgiveness seem impossible? Today on Discover the Word, we will discuss how to offer God’s forgiveness to those who’ve hurt us the most. We’re finding “The Beauty of Broken” today  on Discover the Word!

    The Unchanging Law of Judgment

    This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).

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    Rio Article

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    Spiritual Growth

    Drawing on the Grace of God— Now

    We . . . plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain —2 Corinthians 6:1

    The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it …

    Living for eternity

    When Melody’s 20-year-old daughter died instantly in a car accident, the only thought that brought her comfort was that her child was now with Jesus. Learn how God gave purpose to Melody’s grief and launched a passion for living with an eternal perspective. Find purpose in the midst of loss.

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    When Life Hurts

    Receiving Yourself in the Fires of Sorrow

    As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself, accepting His position and realizing His purpose, in the midst of the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

    Living for eternity

    When Melody’s 20-year-old daughter died instantly in a car accident, the only thought that brought her comfort was that her child was now with Jesus. Learn how God gave purpose to Melody’s grief and launched a passion for living with an eternal perspective. Find purpose in the midst of loss.

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